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Phoenix Purple clean-up helps students’ employability and their community

20th March 2018

A group of students on City College Norwich’s Phoenix Purple course have begun an environmental clean-up of the area around Cooper Lane, in Old Lakenham.  The project will help students to develop invaluable employability skills as well as giving something back to the local community.

The project is being undertaken as part of the work skills element of the students’ course and is being supported by Norwich City Council, who have lent the group equipment to help with their clean-up effort.

Phoenix Purple is a course designed specifically for young people with autism.  The course develops students’ communication, social skills, confidence, employability and study skills, alongside qualifications such as GCSEs and Functional Skills, should learners need or want to take them. 

Reflecting on the Cooper Lane clean-up project, Phoenix Purple student Sarah Schofield said:

“It’s good for the environment, it makes everywhere look not as messy, it’s just a good thing to do.  Volunteering with this kind of thing, and getting it on my CV, is pretty good.”      

Fellow Phoenix Purple student Tristian Packer agrees that this work experience could help him get a job in the future.  Tristian adds:

“I’ve enjoyed doing the voluntary work, I think it’s good to do this.  It helps support the environment more and protects the animals.”         

Michelle Gurner, Phoenix Purple Work Skills Teacher, said:

“This is an opportunity not only for the students to gain experience of work, but also to do something for their community and make a difference.  All of the students on the Phoenix Purple course have autism.  Because things like communication can be difficult for our students, independently trying to find a job or volunteering opportunity can be a real challenge.  Voluntary work that we can set up for them overcomes that and it is something they can then put on their CV.”